The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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A father’s cry: Sir, please let us die

Bolpur, June 27: Anxious about the future of his two physically challenged daughters, a 72-year-old man has written to chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee seeking permission to kill himself and his family.

“Sir, please allow my family of four to end our lives,” Abdur Rauf wrote in his letter yesterday. This was the second time in two years that he was making such a request.

Rauf has another daughter — the eldest — who is married.

Last Wednesday, Rauf had fallen from his cycle and broken his right leg. He has been admitted to the Bolpur subdivisional hospital at Sian near here.

“God knows what will happen to my daughters after I die. I am in extreme poverty. My age does not allow me to earn a living and take care of my ailing daughters. I would prefer to end my life and that of my wife and two daughters,” Rauf wrote from hospital.

Confined to their beds for the last 41 years after a polio attack, Fatema, 46 and Rejina, 36, have never known a normal life, said their mother Ansara Bibi.

“They can do nothing but utter a few words. They need me for everything because they can neither move their limbs nor turn on their sides without assistance. We are worried that they will die a painful death in our absence,” a teary-eyed Ansara added.

Rauf had to give up his job as a bus driver because of failing vision. He then settled down in his ancestral home in Muluk village, 5km from Bolpur station.

After he first wrote to the chief minister in 2005, the government granted Rauf a disability pension of Rs 500 for one of his daughters.

He also got Rs 30,000 under the Indira Awas Yojana, which he gave to his eldest daughter. She and her husband Nurul Hoda used the money to build a two-storey house in Muluk.

The pension wasn’t enough to meet the medical expenses of Rauf’s daughters. Hoda, a truck driver, has been providing for the family for the last two years.

But Rauf said it was becoming “increasingly difficult” for Hoda, a father of four, to make ends meet.

Last month, Rauf got work for six days as a daily labourer. He was earning Rs 68 a day.

He was also looking to set up a small business. Rauf was cycling down to meet a local businessman who could help him when he fell off and broke his leg.

The accident shattered his last hope.

Sub-divisional officer Utpal Biswas today promised to arrange a monthly ration for Rauf’s family and a pension for his other daughter, Rejina.

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